Home » Jigawa State’s N540 Million Splurge on Guest House Renovations Sparks Outrage

Jigawa State’s N540 Million Splurge on Guest House Renovations Sparks Outrage

Local Governments Allocate Hefty Sum Amidst Calls for Fiscal Responsibility

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

A substantial sum of N540 million is allocated for the renovation of guest houses in Jigawa State. This decision is part of the broader budgetary allocations detailed in the state’s budget for 2024.

According to the budget, the 27 local governments in Jigawa State have collectively proposed a staggering N3.4 billion for two primary purposes: the acquisition of security vehicles and the renovation of guest houses. Each chairperson has earmarked N106 million for purchasing two Toyota Hilux vehicles, aimed at bolstering security operations. This amounts to a total of N2.9 billion for the entire state. In addition, there is a planned expenditure of N20 million per local government for the refurbishment of guest houses in Dutse, the state capital, cumulatively reaching

These expenses form a part of the N109 billion budget submitted for the local governments to the state House of Assembly. The budget’s details were revealed by Ibrahim Adamu, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, during a presentation to Speaker Haruna Aliyu. Subsequently, the state assembly passed this budget alongside a N298 billion budget for the state government.

Speaker Aliyu clarified that the state budget of N298.14 billion presented by Governor Umar Namadi is distinct from the local government budget. He noted that the local government budget only requires the assembly’s assent to become law. Adamu, in his report, detailed the specific allocations for the security vehicles and guest house renovations.

Furthermore, the state assembly report discloses approval for additional expenditures. This includes N1.35 billion allocated for constructing two midwifery houses in each local government area and N540 million for purchasing nine Toyota Hilux vehicles for zonal inspectors. The local government councils’ appropriation bill encompasses over N41.3 billion in capital expenditure, over N24.6 billion in overhead costs, and N5.4 billion in contingency funds. It also sets aside N12.9 billion for local government staff salaries, N21.4 billion for local education authority salaries, and N3.3 billion for primary healthcare workers’ salaries.

However, the Jigawa assembly has reportedly reduced the budgetary allocation for education in a state where many children are out of school. Notably, the assembly has made substantial allocations for the purchase of a new vehicle for the speaker, the construction of a new guest house in Abuja for the speaker, and the renovation of lawmakers’ guest houses in Kano State.

The allocation of N540 million for the renovation of guest houses has sparked widespread criticism from civil society organizations and the general public. In response, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Jigawa (COCSIJ) has petitioned Governor Muhammad Badu Abubakar, urging intervention to halt these renovations.

This financial decision by the local governments in Jigawa State raises important questions about budgetary priorities and the effective use of public funds, especially in areas like education where there is a pressing need for investment. The public outcry and the response from civil society groups underline the need for transparency and accountability in governmental spending, especially in regions grappling with significant social and economic challenges.

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